Voters in USA Today’s March Madness-style bracket pitting its Super Bowl Ad Meter winners so far against each other have settled on a favorite: Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” by Anomaly.
The spot defeated another Bud Super Bowl ad, “Brotherhood,” also by Anomaly, and also featuring Clydesdales and the trainer who’d return in “Puppy Love.” The 2013 spot was used to promote Budweiser’s new Twitter account, where the first post asked followers to help name the baby horse born at the Anheuser-Busch ranch in Missouri and shown in the commercial, according to its entry in the Super Bowl Ad Archive.
USA Today, Ad Age’s editorial partner this year on Super Bowl coverage, began with 30 ads from the past 29 years of its Ad Meter popularity contest for big-game ads. The very first winner, American Express and Ogilvy & Mather’s “Dana and Jon Do Miami” starring “Saturday Night Live” stars of 1989, didn’t make it out of the first round of public voting, topped by Budweiser’s football-and-animals gem “Instant Replay,” created by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos for the 2003 game. None of the “top seeds”—determined by their original Ad Meter scores—advanced either. Instead Anheuser-Busch, the prolific Super Bowl advertiser, took 10 of the 16 second-round slots.
By the final round of voting, the only question was whether Bud’s Clydesdales and a sountrack of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” could defeat Bud’s Clydesdales, “Let Her Go” by Passenger, and a puppy.
In related news, after first saying it would leave the Clydesdales out of its Super Bowl ads this year for the first time since 2001, Budweiser said Wednesday that it had secured 5 seconds of big-game airtime for its popular mascots.